In the heart of a snowy winter, I've found it wise to sometimes seek out books that transport me to warmer, gentler places in our country. Justice in June did just that, sending me down to Miami—where the heat in Miami-Dade County was about much more than the weather—to share in the life of criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz.
Mary has her own law firm now and is doing quite well after a sensational win for her client in her first novel, Fatal February. She is mad about her sexy new boyfriend, too, Carlos, who's into South Florida real estate development and sometimes needs her legal assistance and who causes the reader to periodically wonder if his business and some of his other actions are completely legitimate.
During the morning of what opens as a quiet day, Mary receives a confidential call from an old friend who had well-mentored her years earlier and gained her deep respect. Liz Maxwell, presently a female county judge who needs her help with accusations of fixing her cases, Mary's boyfriend's cousin is arrested as a terrorist, a double murder happens, and more.
Thus we are hooked. In short, snappy chapters of three to four pages each, Levenson takes us on a fast-paced journey with Katz' varied concerns and cases—local murders, Carlos' cousin's disappearance into the federal justice system, Carlos' questionable interaction with his former wife, the judge who is allegedly fixing cases—ultimately weaving many dark, underlying threads together.
Justice in June was a reluctant-to-put-down, enjoyable read throughout, filled with mysterious twists, many turns, lots of mystery, an eclectic group of characters, and a satisfying ending that left me wondering how that romance with Carlos was going to turn out.
Barbara Levenson has spent 30 years in the criminal justice system as a prosecutor, running her own law office and serving as a judge in Miami-Dade County. She was raised in Columbus, Ohio where she was the first woman elected to the board of education. She and her husband raised and showed German shepherd dogs and finished eleven champions in the show ring. She has lived in Miami since 1975 and spends summers in Quechee, Vermont. Barbara writes mysteries that highlight Miami, the courts, and German Shepherd dogs. Justice in June is the second in the Mary Magruder Katz mystery series. Visit her website.
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